There won’t be another league record up for grabs on Friday night when the Selkirk College Men’s Hockey team hosts Trinity Western University at the Castlegar Recreation Complex, nor will first place be on the line like it was when SFU visited last weekend.
But for the Saints, who have the chance to extend their lead in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League standings to seven points with a win, Friday’s match-up against the sixth-place Spartans signals the start of a crucial stretch of games where playoff positioning and home-ice advantage is likely to be determined.
“We set the bar very high in terms of our compete level and work ethic against SFU, and our goal is to maintain that level and improve upon it regardless of our opponent,” says Selkirk head coach Jeff Dubois. “Back in the fall we came off a big win over SFU and went on to play our four weakest games of the season over the next three weeks. With playoffs only six weeks away there’s no time to get complacent or comfortable, or base our effort level on where the opposition sits in the standings.”
Dubois contends that Trinity Western is the perfect opponent to test the Saints’ focus, as the Spartans have improved greatly since the teams last met in November.
“(TWU coach) Dwayne Lowdermilk has done a great job with his group,” he says. “They got off to a slow start but they’ve never stopped competing, and over the last three games they’ve got the scoring that they lacked early on and picked up wins over good opponents.”
The Spartans added a big offensive piece over the holiday break in former WHL and BCHL sniper Matt Ius. The ex-Portland Winterhawks and Everett Silvertips winger has played in over 150 games at the Major Junior level and picked up 67 points in 46 games with the BCHL’s Langley Chiefs in 2010/11. TWU also boasts a veteran defence corps led by former BCHL captains Brad Bakken (Langley Chiefs) and Tyler Miller (Chilliwack Chiefs).
Selkirk is 3-0 in their previous three meetings against Trinity Western this season. The Saints got the better end of a 6-1 score in their home opener on October 12th and picked up back-to-back wins, including one in overtime, when they travelled to Langley, B.C. on November 9th and 10th.
Tickets for Friday’s games will be available at the door for $8 (Adults) and $5 (Selkirk students & staff, seniors, children 6 & older). Faceoff is set for 8:00 PM, 30 minutes later than usual.
SAINTS NOTES: Jordan Wood and Logan Proulx currently sit first and third in BCIHL scoring with 28 and 25 points respectively. Wood’s 13 goals also lead all skaters. Meanwhile, Selkirk netminder Alex Sirard leads all BCIHL goaltenders in a number of statistical categories, including wins (9), goals-against average (2.16) and save-percentage (.918).